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Barbara and Murray

Barbara (far right) and Norman Hodd (far left) – known to everyone as Murray – were married for 44 years.

At 21 Barbara was a teacher working in Birmingham, but she visited her family at home in the Ribble Valley regularly. It was on a weekend visit that Murray offered her a lift in his MG and the rest, as they say, was history. Ironically, all the time Barbara had been in Birmingham, it turned out Murray had been working there too. When they got married they moved to Dronfield and lived in their sunny family home all their married life.

In the summer of 2014 Murray became unwell and following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer on Barbara’s 70th birthday, he deteriorated very quickly and sadly passed away in December of that year.

Barbara was determined to care for Murray at home, but she couldn’t leave him for even 10 minutes. Helen’s Trust provided a sitter every Friday afternoon for 3 hours. This allowed Barbara to continue taking piano lessons which was a real lifeline for her.

Barbara says, ‘Murray got on so well with Jane, the carer Helen’s Trust provided. He looked forward to her coming and really thrived when she was here. I felt so comfortable going to my piano lesson knowing he was with a friend.’

The couple have 2 sons, Jonathan and Edward, who were the most important part of Murray’s life. Murray also loved his garden and was a very proud and active member of his local Parish Choir.

Barbara says of Murray’s funeral ‘Past and present members of the Parish Choir came, it was very special. On Murray’s funeral Order of Service we had a beautiful photograph with our sons and grandsons – 3 generations – and on the back was Murray in his Choir robes.’

I am so thankful for the time Helen’s Trust gave me each week for those few months, I can’t tell you how much I valued that little bit of ‘me’ time. It definitely enabled me to keep Murray at home. I came home from my piano lesson chilled out and Murray benefitted greatly from his time with Jane.

Barbara says ‘As a teacher it is so important to me that I do my bit to educate as many people as possible about the help that Helen’s Trust can give and also how others can help this small charity.’

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